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|Title:||'Such Spiritual Acres': Protestantism, the land and the colonisation of Australia 1788 - 1850|
|Authors:||Lake, Meredith Elayne|
John Dunmore Lang
William Grant Broughton
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
|Abstract:||This thesis examines the transmission of Protestantism to Australia by the early British colonists and its consequences for their engagement with the land between 1788 and 1850. It explores the ways in which colonists gave religious meaning to their surrounds, particularly their use of exile and exodus narratives to describe journeying to the colony and their sense of their destination as a site of banishment, a wilderness or a Promised Land. The potency of these scriptural images for colonising Europeans has been recognised in North America and elsewhere: this study establishes and details their significance in early colonial Australia. This thesis also considers the ways in which colonists’ Protestant values mediated their engagement with their surrounds and informed their behaviour towards the land and its indigenous inhabitants. It demonstrates that leading Protestants asserted and acted upon their particular values for industry, order, mission and biblicism in ways that contributed to the transformation of Aboriginal land. From the physical changes wrought by industrious agricultural labour through to the spiritual transformations achieved by rites of consecration, their specifically Protestant values enabled Britons to inhabit the land on familiar material and cultural terms. The structural basis for this study is provided by thematic biographies of five prominent colonial Protestants: Richard Johnson, Samuel Marsden, William Grant Broughton, John Wollaston and John Dunmore Lang. The private and public writings of these men are examined in light of the wider literature on religion and colonialism and environmental history. By delineating the significance of Protestantism to individual colonists’ responses to the land, this thesis confirms the trend of much recent British and Australian historiography towards a more religious understanding of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Its overarching argument is that Protestantism helped lay the foundation for colonial society by encouraging the transformation of the environment according to the colonists’ values and needs, and by providing ideological support for the British use and occupation of the territory. Prominent Protestants applied their religious ideas to Australia in ways that tended to assist, legitimate or even necessitate the colonisation of the land.|
|Description:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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